March 4, 2018
We started noticing about 5 years ago that a lot of our clients use video options like Skype, GoToMeeting, FaceTime, Google Hangout and WhatsApp to start a video chat and enter inventory into Estimator; this seemed totally reasonable. Then came the rush of dedicated virtual video solutions that promised to automate the whole survey thing using self videos and artificial intelligence. Seemingly every single moving company out there added a virtual survey option on their website... which in reality meant a free video chat and a real surveyor with a real survey app on the other end of a video call.
After about two years of offering virtual surveys, it became abundantly clear to all the technology players in the market that video is merely part of an estimating system. There are those who arrogantly view estimating functionality as a minute slap-on that can even be used during a physical survey; that is, when the video route didn’t quite work out or the transferee saw it as disrespectful.
The video technology improves continuously and the underlying costs decrease, but what remains constant is the need to perform detailed and accurate surveys aligned with company needs and standards, and that takes a dedicated app. It has to work for professional surveyors, produce summaries in a desired format and language and most importantly integrate with the move management system of choice. That’s what we’ve been focusing on over the last 15 years - supporting the best available devices (from Palm Pilot to iPhone X) and building integration with all move management systems on the market.
As for the video - we offer it as an add-on for extra convenience, modestly priced to justify a couple of advantages over free options: real-time transfer of items and residence access photos to Voxme Estimator, branded video chat invitations and cloud storage of videos. It’s nice to have choices. Decide for yourself what fits your professionalism.